"The Cutter" as written by and Ian Stephen/sergeant Mcculloch....
Brewing alternatives
What's in the bottom drawer
Waiting for things to give

Spare us the cutter
Spare us the cutter
Couldn't cut the mustard

Conquering myself
Until I see another hurdle approaching
Say we can, say we will
Not just another drop in the ocean

Come to the free for all
With cellotape & knives
Some of them six feet tall
We will escape our lives

Spare us the cutter
Spare us the cutter
Couldn't cut the mustard

Conquering myself
Until I see another hurdle approaching
Say we can, say we will
Not just another drop in the ocean

Am I the happy loss
Will I still recoil
When the skin is lost
Am I the worthy cross
Will I still be soiled
When the dirt is off

Conquering myself
Until I see another hurdle approaching
Say we can, say we will
Not just another drop in the ocean
Ocean

Watch the fingers close
When the hands are cold

Am I the happy loss
Will I still recoil
When the skin is lost
Am I the worthy cross
Will I still be soiled
When the dirt is off

Am I the happy loss
Will I still be soiled
When the dirt is off


Lyrics submitted by typo

"The Cutter" as written by Leslie Thomas Pattinson Ian Stephen Mcculloch

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Cutter song meanings
Add your thoughts

33 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    My OpinionThis lyric is directly taken from the film A Clockwork Orange if you wach the film you will understand.
    davesellwoodon January 06, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think 'worthy cross' is a reference to Jesus, the Son of God who died on a cross. The writer means is he worthy enough for people to look up to, admire or even worship him?
    Jacklandon July 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeeing the Bunnymen with my future wife at the Royal Albert Hall, London the same week this was released...
    mikeyron March 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSpiff song!
    Karlon May 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is just great. Fun to dance to.
    bottledinspirationon April 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvery gooy doance song but hatts it a bout
    KurdtTBOon March 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo idea what he's singing about. But I love the song. The opening is one of the most distinct I've ever heard. It really grabs your attention.
    MrLongroveon April 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have no idea what it's about: I didn't even like it the first few times I heard it. But, one day, I listened without being critical, and some element reached out to me, and I began to feel differently about it. The small feeling eventually balloned into something larger, and I came to love this song, and wonder now how it was I ever felt differently.
    Major Valoron April 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk, the 7th floor is referencing this Broadcasting building in London, where BBC recordings take place (or used to anyway). Cello tape I believe was used in recording to create a certain sound with a microphone, or maybe just taping mics together, and for other various purposes. So, the way I look at it, they were a struggling band, putting together instruments or setting up their stuff in a studio as best they could, trying to make an impression, and hoping they would be spared from the "cutter" or the critical minds of the music industry who have little patience for experimental, creative music. They're hoping that the industry people on the 7th floor who control their destiny are "brewing alternatives" which would allow their music (the stuff the music industry might put in the bottom drawer initially) to actually see the light of day.

    "Say we can, say we will, not just another drop in the ocean." He's saying they are not just another flash in the pan, that they have something to give.

    A parallel to all of this (my own interpretation of course) is the idea of the cutting itself. Cutting- as in the way a person with psychological issues might cut into their own skin. This is done for many reasons, and in some cultures the cutting is done as purification rituals (others call it bleeding, and this practice used to go on all the time). In this case, I think he might be referring to the fact that the industry sort of takes chunks out of you when you become part of it, and he is wondering if he will still have the raw emotion that he had before he got into all of this, that the industry doesn't numb him to all of this manipulation. "Will I still be soiled when the dirt is off" to me is another reference to trying to wash away guilt, and that ties in with the cross/religious reference as well as the sacrifice in "figurative" blood he is making to become an artist. He has to make some artistic sacrifices if he want to "escape our lives" of starving artists, or he could just be referencing the art itself as an escape. Also, there is always figurative blood spilled when an artist produces something.

    I also really love the line about "happy loss" this really meant to me the true nature of being an artist. There is some bit of a masochistic tendency I think in really good artists. They sort of enjoy suffering for their art (or cutting for that matter), as it can be a wealthy source for creative ideas. It's a necessary evil, so to speak. The pain (the cutting) creates the art (the release, or rush...but also the loss of blood...hence, the "happy loss".... sorry, I just love the metaphor) Lots of great artists have always been somewhat self-destructive, so I think there's something to that in here as well.

    Also, along those lines, "will I still be soiled" means that if he is accepted as an artist in the industry, he will have some means, so he won't be as much of a "soiled," starving artist, but will that mean that he will be worthy still of making great art? Will his art be viable if he's not struggling, since that what spawned his desire to become an artist in the first place (by spawned I don't necessarily mean he was driven by money, but rather that he really developed his artistic eye as a struggling outsider)? Additionally, this could also have to do with his worries about failure. When the blinders are off, when everything is tripped away and he is exposed, will he still be shite?

    And when he says "watch the fingers close, when the hands are cold," I see this as meaning that he needs to remind himself to keep it together. He needs to stay away from getting caught up in the release, and focus on the art. The release that the actual cutter receives can be too much of a good thing if too much blood leaves the body. Just as the release of emotion in art must be tamed as well, because ultimately an artist wants to harness the emotion and articulate the experience with an objective, critical eye. The risk is dropping into a self-destructive vortex.

    So all of the good stuff: self-doubt, stuggle, anxiety, fear of success, fear of failure, overcoming personal hurdles, maintaining integrity- it’s all in here, a great great song as far as I'm concerned. And I didn't even get into the power of the cutting, ripping guitar chords and the sounds of the climactic chorus! Oh well, there's always next time!!!
    OneTwoon April 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust one more point I wanted to make is that they could be the ones one the 7th floor, brewing alternatives. Meaning they are recording their alternative music, and they hope that their art is not cut up by the producers to badly, that when their music is "cut up" so to speak, it will still be good and maintain it's integrity. Porcupine was really the first album that Echo made that was more accessible, with powerful melodies and choruses ala U2. Whether or not this was conscious is not known by me, but it seems a perfect opening track. They are cleaning up or changing their sound, and in this light, "brewing alternatives" could also mean they are going in a different direction with their music. There's lots of ways to take this. I just see it as a metaphor for the possibility that while they are approaching their newer sound with a more objective methodology, they want to make sure they don't lose the edge that makes them great.
    OneTwoon April 16, 2005   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain